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backyard. is this new get tough approach here to stay? david axelrod, the key obama strategist joins me for an exclusive interview. plus there they go again. a new low for gop hypocrisy. >> my goodness, i didn't know that. >> believe it, darrell issa, and you're at the center of the storm. also, weathered mitt romney. he's just like you if you eat fast food and live in a mcmansion. >> the great middle class, the 80 to 90% of us in this country. and i am innocent. troy davis's final words, his death reviving the debate over an unjust system of justice. tonight i'll talk with barley
sheck of the innocence project. >> just so much doubt. if never occurred me to me that the government would go ahead and murder this man. >> welcome to "politics nation." tonight's lead, republicans get ready, because the president is just getting warmed up. today president obama took his jobs satisfying to the home turf of two top republicans in congress, and he challenged speaker boehner and senator mitch mcconnell to stand in the way of progress. he challenged them. stand in the way of job growth, and he challenged them to pass his jobs bill so the country can fix the crumbling infrastructure in their own backyards. >> it's in such poor condition it's been labeled functionally obsolete. think about that. functionally obsolete. that doesn't sound good, does it?
it's safe to drive. >> republicans might like president obama's tough new tone, but judging by the response in ohio, americans sure do. >> if you want construction workers rebuilding america, pass this bill. if you want teachers back in the classroom, pass this bill. if you want to cut taxes to middle-class families, pass this bill. if you want to help small businesses, what do you do? >> pass this bill. >> if unfortunate veterans to share in the opportunities of this country, what should you do? >> pass this bill. >> now is the time to act. >> joining me is david axelrod. thanks for coming on the show. >> great to be with you, reverend. >> a couple things are bothering me.
i'd like you to hear what some of the republican leadership thought about president obama's visit to ohio today. take a listen. >> now is not the time for the president to go into campaign mode. >> the president has made a decision that he's going to go into full campaign mode now 14 months before the election. >> president obama has been traveling around the country trying to set a record for the number of times he can say the words "pass this bill" right away. forget the political theater. >> now, david, we heard them say repeatedly earlier in the year they wanted to know the president's plan. he comes with a $447 billion plan, now they call it political theater. 14 million people out of work, people are suffering, and they are now trying to act like this is just campaign rhetoric? >> well, the truth is, reverend,
he is campaigning. he's campaigning to get this bill passed, because we have serious economic challenges, people are feeling them in their day-to-day lives, and it's time to act. i know that senator mcconnell was offended that the president was out there doing that. it was senator mcconnell who said at the end of last year that his goal for the next two years was to defeat the president. well, they ought to spend less time trying to tear the president down and start working with him to build america up. that's what the president's point was today. he's going to continue saying it. i understand it makes some feel uncomfortable, but they should feel uncomfortable. the american people don't want politics now. they want cooperation around this bill, big issues, let's get america back working. let's start rebuilding our economy in a way that provides broad opportunity, and that's the project the president is working on here. >> now, now maybe they're using
the political way out, because they really can't control their own caucus. look at this. when you see the contradictory statements and sometimeline it was done in, they seem to have no control over their own forces in congress. so rather than say they're in disarray, maybe that's why they're trying to act like it's the president. look at this. >> what you'll see today is the cr to pass the house floor and go over to the senate. >> i yays are 1935, nays are 230. the motion is not adopted. >> i have no fear in allowing the house to work its will. i've long believed in it, and i continue to believe in it. does it make my life a little more difficult? yes, it does, but at the end of the day, every member has the obligation to represent their constituents. >> i mean, it's almost unbelievable. that's why i wanted to play it so the people would not think i
was reading it wrong. contradictory statements in and out. how do we get anything done when they cannot seemingly get some agreement in their own caucus? >> well, the particular issue thats raised there was one that is really fundamental, which is whether we're going to provide the disaster relief that communities need around the country when they are under siege. that's something that we've always done as a country. stand by our neighbors when they're in times of distress. now this has been thrown into doubt because of the republicans in the house, with these tea party republicans simply don't believe that that's an obligation of government, obligation of our society. the senate did pass a bill that would cover these expenses, and the house won't go along with it, so it's created a big problem?
and you -- someone used the phrase, when the president said functionally obsolete and someone shouted something from the crowd, the question is whether the congress and the republicans in congress are becoming functionally on sleet in terms of dealing with the problems of this country. people want action. they don't want politics. they are worn out on the politics on the obstruction. they want cooperation, and they want action on the fundamental issues facing us, which are economic. these members of congress can do that. a lot of the ideas we proposed, as we've said before, reverend, are ideas that many have embraced in the past. it is inconceivable how they could not pass, for example, an extension of the payroll tax cut, but they defend to the hilt tax cuts for the wealthier americans, so what is the principle there? that it's not okay to raise taxes on the people at the top, but it's object to raise taxes
on 160 million working americans? i don't understand the logic of that. the only conclusion you can come to is that it's all about politics, whatever the president proposes, they're going to oppose. that's not good enough for the american people. >> well, let me ask you this, is john boehner up to the task? is he a strong enough leader to be able to get something done? or is he following the crowd? is the dog wagging the tail or the tail wagging the dog here? >> it's an interesting question. we don't select their leader. they select their leader. i'm not going to interpose myself there, but obviously it is stunning when the -- when the speaker and the majority leader put together a piece of legislation on the floor. that piece of legislation, frankly was inadequate. it doesn't match what the senate had done. it didn't cover the range of disaster relief that's needed in the country and communities around the country, and they
couldn't even pass the scaled-down bill, so there's a level of problem there -- >> scary. >> -- that is really concerning. >> you say maybe they're functionally obsolete. i think you're being kind to use the term "functionally." but let me get into the politics of it. rick perry had, in my opinion, the gall to come into new york while the president was dealing with some delicate matters of global peace, the middle east, things that i think anyone would respect and take politics out of. he came into the area, and, well, let me show you what he did. he stood up and made this statement about appeasement. >> the obama administration and their middle east policy of appeasement that has encouraged such an ominous act of bad
faith, simply put, we would not be here today if the obama policy in the middle east wasn't naive and arrogant, misguided and dangerous. >> in the middle of negotiating with israel and palestine in a very delicate situation that we're dealing with lives, is this over the line? is this inappropriate for someone to come in and play a partisan political game in the middle of this kind of delicate balance? >> it certainly was jarring that he did that, but more so, it didn't really reflect the reality of what was going on. here the president is working diligently to -- to head off this problem, and to give life to real negotiations that might lead to a -- to a lasting peace in the middle east and peace and security for israel alongside a mind neighbor.
and to throw that into the -- into the sort of political maelstrom in that way was pretty shocking. >> now, they debate tonight. they'll all by up there tonight. they're down in orlando, florida, right down the block from mickey mouse and donald duck -- [ laughter ] >> and don't forget goofy. >> well, that's right. goofy will be at disneyland, too. what do we -- what do you think we should be looking for from these candidates? you have -- you have rick perry who's the front-runner, and rick is the cowboy, and he's come in, and he's protecting whatever it is of the tea party. then you have my friend willard, mitt romney. he's an everyday man, one of us, just a regular guy.
and michele bachmann. how do you handicap your opposition. if you're getting your fighter ready to go into the ring against these people, what do you tell them? >> well, i mean, obviously what they have decided to do is cater to that tea party republican faction, and what's -- what is clear after several debates is when it comes to economics, all of them are basically saying the same thing, which is let's go back and do the same thing that we did in the last ten years, let's give tax cuts to the people at the very top, tax loopholes for big corporations, let's roll back the last time mitt romney rolled back the rules on wall street. let's unleash wall street, which of course is where he made all of his fortune. that is their prescription. we've seen this movie before, reverend. we know how it ends. it's not good for america, it's not good for the middle class. it's not good for people who are aspiring to become middle class.
so there was this -- you remember the whole to-do about when we were going to have our speech to congress on the jobs act, and some people said to me, well, you're trying to preempt the republican debate. not at all. i would like everybody in america to watch the republican debate. i think it's enlightning. what you see is they don't have anything to offer but the same old kind of trickle-down -- that got us into this mess in the first place. we want to reward hard work, reward responsibility, make sure everyone gets a fair shake and everybody does their fair share. that's how we're going to rebuild this economy, not by repeating the same mistakes that got us into this mess before. >> quickly, two last questions, the president's approval rating, disapproval rating in florida has gone to 57%. the president has come out
tougher. people say he seems to have become a different kind of president in terms of his reelection. was he trying to take the high road to see if he could appeal to the best in the opposition? and now he's just given up? or has he changed strategy? let me use this strategy? what are we looking at? >> reverend, we've got serious problems and challenges in this country. his job is to try to make progress. if they're unling to work with him and they make a strategic decision they're simply not going to cooperate, he doesn't have a choice but to take that case to the american people. that's what he's doing right now. >> david actsle rod, i'm sure you'll be watching. little hint from me, i'm nowhere near the strategist that you
are, but if you want to hear a jobs creation plan, you better find donald duck and you better find goofy. i think they'll have the only plan you'll hear tonight. >> thank you. >> senior strategist for the obama campaign, thanks for joining me this evening. >> great to be with you. thank you. michele bachmann in florida today, you will not believe the comments she made. plus the controversial execution of troy davis, and why the justice system needs to change. and mitt "corporations are people" romney says he's just like us. you have to hear this one. you're watching "politics nation" here on msnbc. stay with us.
that's what they called the house committee hearing today, and it got ugly. labor secretary hilda solis tells us about the battle today with the republicans on the hill. stay with us. aking him triple double. why? this! new triple double oreo. ♪ yo stufy, come here! [ shoes squeaking ] looked better on paper. [ strike! ] looked better on paper. [ thunder rumbles ] what is the sign of a good decision? in the world of personal finance, it's massmutual. find strength and stability in a company that's owned by its policyholders. ask your advisor, or visit massmutual.com.
she explained why jobs represented to hybrid vehicles are classified as green. >> we have to get at whether or not the information that you're giving us is accurate. >> it is accurate. >> no. driving a bus, just because it's hybrid doesn't make it a green job job. >> would you rather have that person unemploy. >> i would rather you not try to smooth this thing over and make it a green job when it's a job. >> it's an industrying that green. >> funny thing about congressman mac, when he's not busy bashing green jobs, he's trying to bring them back home to his sdrix. >> he's beinging for federal funds. so implement new centering --
sorry, mac, we got it in writer, and your signature is on the page. but joining me is labor secretary solis. secretary welcome to the show. what's your reaction to getting attacked like this at this republican hearing today? >> we've san antonio that republicans have not agreed with the whole definition of green jobs and technology, and you saw how they defended the coal and oil companies. it's okay to give these subsidies, but you can't give incent inks to create renewable jobs. this reminds me, a couple years ago when we used to carry the big cell phones. remember the big model that weighed almost two pounds? now technology changes and we're using the ipads, we're doing so 78 things because of innovation and because we've had made investments. green renewable energy is the same thing, only we're helping to clean up the environment, we're creating better wages, and
through our department of labor, i'm not saying i'm creating the jobs. i help people train up for the jobs so we can immediate the demands. i've only been able to investment $500 million. do you know that the chinese put in billions of dollars? and they subsidize these kinds of industries. it's shameful that somehow the republicans believe we are wasting taxpayer dollars when this fact we are not. the gentleman that connie mac, congressman mac called out, actually lost his job because of the downsizing in the financial industry. >> the guy he called out actually lost his job. >> the guy lost his job, got retooled, retrained in our programs, with a public/private partnerships, is now in a new renewable sector driving a fuel-efficient vehicle that was built in california. how many manufacturers are building efficient vehicles?
this is a once in a lifetime. the gentleman, i met him on the plant site in san jose. he told me, secretary, i may not be making the same amount of money that i was in the financial industry, but let me tell you something, i'm able to keep my commitment to my son. i'ming to payable for his college. i can't tell you, reverend, how proud i was to hearing that story. >> i'm sure you would be. let me say that, we mentioned that connie mac likes to attack green energy programs, while also seeking green energy funding, but ten other republicans on the economiee fit that same bill, including chairman darrell issa. what do you think of that? >> you and i know it was more of a circus, and darrell issa, as you know, actually supports the notion of green investments and green technology. i know that he has to carry out his function and role on that
committee, because that's a part of his leadership duties, but i can tell you that the tone has changed dramatically since when i was in the congress just 2 1/2 years ago. it is very polarized. it's unfortunate that somehow people believe that we are cutting the spigot out there, we're not creating jobs and we're actually hurting jobs, when in fact according to brookings institute, we have actually added 2.7 million jobs in the green sector. >> here's what darrell issa said. take a listen. >> looking back on the green energy record, three years and billions of taxpayer dollars later, the american people have received very little return on the president's signature investment. >> he almost makes it sound like a myth, but look more than 2 million establishing green
goods, more than 2 million americans employed in the green economy. this is no myth. >> right. you know, reverend, i had the opportunity to visit some of these plants out in detroit where they're making investments in lithium batteries. by the enof 2012 we could corner 40% of that market. a lot of it is coming from the private sector. they're the ones that are determining where the future growth of these jobs are going to be. so i think darrell issa and others are misled, because they don't quite understand how the marketplace is working, and we are supporting what the private sector is telling us where the growth needs to be. >> secretary solis, thank you for joining me. >> thank you, reverend. a pleasure. ahead, the rick perry makeover. he shot to tea party stardom by
talking about secession, but now he's trying to scrub his report clean. but first, republicans can't handle what warren buffett is saying about taxing the rich. so now they are getting personal. we'll be right back. molly barker. she created the girls on the run program to build the self-esteem of young girls through training and conditioning. focused on teaching empowerment participants follow a ten-week curriculum building up to a 5k running event. this msnbc profile in progress is brought to you by -- it's what they do. accept it.
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fedex. solutions that matter. the government candidates are heading to the land of make believe tonight. they'll be in orlando right near disneyworld for another republican debate and another chance for them to make up facts. front-runner was warming up on fox last night. >> some people said you used the term secession. is that something you believe. >> no, and i never used that term at all. as a matter of fact -- >> why was it reported as such? >> i have no idea to be honest with you. it was never a factual bit of reporting. >> okay, rick, so you didn't say the word secession, but you did say this -- >> when we came into the nation in 1845, we were a republic.
>> reporter: a stainedalone nation, and one of the deals was we could leave anytime we want, so we're kind of thinking about that again. >> leave anytime you want. okay, rick perry. meanwhile, the strategy is to hammer him for calling security a ponzi scheme, but in his book "no apology" romney writes, quote -- to put it in a nutshell, the american people have been effectively defrauded out of their social security. if someone in the private sector did a similar thing, they would go to jail. when you look at these front-runners, suddenly things look better. mitch daniels and chris christie both critical of the field at times were together for a political discussion today. christie said, quote, republican presidential hopefuls are
dancing around the issue. who might be dancing in the land of make believe? next. joining me now, bob shrum democratic strat jill and professor at new york university, and former congressman rick lads i don't. lads i don't. >> things have shifted quite a bit. if you look at the numbers, the intensity has gone up. i think this field is beginning to winnow out. it's still a little early, but it looks like there's romney, perry, and in my view, it looks like -- whether republicans will value that enough to make him the nominee i think is still up for grabs.
when they say we're not talking about on our side, they're dancing around other stuff, this is the governor of new jersey talking about the saying over weekend they should campaign to govern, not just win in an election, and sarah "i'm not going anywhere" palin, they actually sent out a her from her pac to supporters saying, send money in case she wants to go. can you send your best one-time gift to sara-pac today to help her elect more common-sense conservatives and show we support her if she decides to run. bob? it doesn't sound like everybody is happy as mr. lazio has tried
to tell us. >> she's latched on to a fund-raising device. if she runs she'll get crushed look. right now, if he could stop him, and i'm not sure he can, perry helps romney, because he makes him look relatively reasonable. 24s a guy that not only talks about secession, and by the way, leaving anytime we want is talking about secession. >> it's like i'm hitting you and i didn't say assault. >> he's called social security unconstitutional and says the states should take it over, and romney clearly sees florida as his firewall i think this debate will be a rerock 'em/sock 'em back and forth between these guys. if perry can win iowa, win south carolina and win florida, he's probably the nominee. rom any will try to stop that in
florida. >> rick does romney need a knockout in florida? >> i think, first of all, romney has been the most exceptional performer in the debates so far. he's held his own, took some heat, hasn't been flustered, has had a coherent point of view, and i think he's going to push again in the state of florida where you have 40% i think of voters in the last presidential primaries were over 60, so he'll be pressing on these social security issues, he's going to try to make perry look as though he's uninformed and not ready to be president. perry in my view will try to push back, make him look less than genuine and try to hit him on health care, and we'll see. i think it's much more important for perry than romney. i think romney has already
established his's good on his feet. >> i think it's good for romney. if it doesn't hold in florida, i think you'll have a hard time winning the state. he's got one other attack, by the way. he's now -- mitt romney is now accusing rick perry of being a flip-flopper, which is like me criticizing someone for being bald. he says he's flip flopped, because he won't own up to the fact that he wants to get rid of social security. you could say it's a good offense, because it's a certainly kind of defense, but i think it's transparent, stupid, and romney should never utter that word in this entire campaign. >> one thing to watch here is romney has a seven-point lead. >> seven-point lead -- >> over president obama, and he's got a significantly larger lead, in fact obama leads perry on a head to head.
so in florida, which is going to be another important swing state, it will be important for the nomination, important for the general election, i think voters will be looking very carefully not just who can turn the economy around, but who has the experience and the discipline and background to get it done, but who can win. >> here's your problem, rick. you've got to get to who's going to run against -- let me show you some polls. in the gop stand iing perry's a 31, romney is 34. if you look at the poll in terms of tea partiers, perry 55, romney 35. if you go to the poll men/women, more men -- this was surprising, perfectly 50% of the men and 36% of men, perry to romney. so romney may in some polls beat president obama, but he seemed
like he's going to have a hard time beating perry to get to president obama. >> you have to look at it state by stayed. national polls are interesting, but -- >> you just quoted a national poll against president obama. >> i'm saying also -- >> that's very republican of you. >> i'm saying it's a fact. republicans who want to win back the white house will look at who can attract independent voters. that same poll with romney over obama, he has a 10% lead over independents. i think that matters to some. >> there are a lot of polls out there. i saw one today where romney leads the president by two. and perry is losing by five. i'm not sure that seven points is going to be the electability difference that persuades republicans. the republican establishment is entirely persuaded. they're in terror of perry. they don't want him to be the nominee. i went through this in 2004, if
i can be analytical. you know this, reverend, earp there. democrats fell in love with howard dean, because he had been out there, banging the war, he was the anti-war candidate, and about 30 days out, these democrats all said, okay, what's the question? and they decided the question was -- who had a chance to beat george w. bush? they just moved to kerry. i mean, one of my close friends who worked for dean said we got all of our 1s, our sure voteers to the caucuses. i went to a caucus and watch half of our 1s walk across the room and vote for john kerry. i think it's about a seven-point, six-point difference between how they run, the two of them, perry and romney, against obama, as significant enough to let them override their suspicions of romney and attraction to perry. >> don't forget in some states you have independenting
participating in the process, which in new hampshire, the last poll i saw again they're just polls, romney had a 41-8 lead. >> that's a disaster, by the way. his expectations are so high in new hampshire, it seems like hi own home state, and jon huntsman now has 10%. most of the votes huntsman will take in new hampshire are votes that would otherwise go to romney. >> if he stays in. >> i think he'll stay in, but romney has to have a strategy. his's got to have a south carolina strategy. >> and i think as you've seen, he's bumped up in south carolina, it's within the margin of error, whatever it is in south carolina. >> but i think when you keep saying in terms of the general election poll, let's not forget, rick, like tonight, every debate these guys are clobbering each
other. all president obama has to do is sit back and wait, and after you guys beat each other down, come in with a billion and just take what's left, because you're doing the work for them. i think you guys are going to have a slug-fest tonight. i've already ordered the popworn, i'm watching it, and i think you should have more debat debates. >> but again, using florida as an example, you have fragmented republican fields still unresolved who the nominee will be, and still you have, in the ka is of mitt romney on the latest polls, him significantly beating president obama. that is not really good news -- >> that's one poll. there's another that shows the race a debt heat. i fully think at this point in the political cycle with the economy the way it is, it's
pretty good. >> rifi've got to end it. does romney know how many houses he has? bob, rick -- >> easy now, easy now, easy now. coming up. >> two. fallout from the controversial execution of troy davis. it can and will happen again if we don't deal with this now. how do we fix it? that's coming up next.
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let me get something straight. connie mac is the congressman we talked about earlier. he went after the labor secretary. there he is. but earlier we showed a picture of his father, the former florida senator connie mac iii. father and son. now we've shown the correct picture, who says i don't correct myself. i wonder what the father thought about his son being so rude to the labor secretary? we'll be right back. [ venus ] what are they doing to stufy?
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that's what we must do. there was far too much doubt to execute mr. davis. he was found guilty that numerous studies have proven. that this can and will happen again. joining me is barry sheck, who has pushed for states to examine the reliability of eyewitness accounts. in fact, innocence project, you came out with this graph showing that of cases that had been dealt with with dna studies, % 75% -- also involved witness misidentification. >> yes, and reverend, we have a
whole program, new jersey supreme court just issued a brand-new ruling laying out a new way for courts to examine eyewitness identification procedures. we have police practices in place that can reduce mistaken we've got it in north carolina and holy hole. >> i have to tell you reverend, and i thank you for the leadership you have been showing that troy davis did not die in vain. as joel hill said, don't mourn, organize. we can see that capital punishment, opposition is no
longer the third rail to american politics. it was repealed in new jersey. >> i want to show you something. you testified in new jersey, very instrumental there, as earp years ago, we worked on abner, you helped to change some policies there. in a recent ruling, the new jersey supreme court issued the following guidelines, and again you were helpful in making this happen. police officers will not know the lineup who the suspect is. police must show photos to the eyewitness one at a time. the witness shall be asked their level of certainty. all of this will be videotaped so it can be reviewed before a witness ever sets foot in a courtroom. >> not only it protects the innocent, but it helps the police go out and help find the
person who committed the crime. we working with police groups all across the country. i have to tell you that one of the police officers we work with in georgia tried his level best to get the board of pa rolls and pardons to spare troy davis' life. >> national action network, amnesty international, all of us will keep fighting. some of es are in washington tomorrow but there's a referendum in california that people can rally around, and i think this case should inspire education. >> we've now raised money and we're going to get on the ballot a referendum to repeal capital punishment to take the money and put it toward public safety. the fact is in california it takes 25 years from from the
time of a death sentence to an execution. they have over 700 people on the row. it costs -- and these are government estimates $184 million extra to have them on death row than in general population. it's going to cost another $400 million to built a new death row, so by everyone's estimation, the system is totally broken, and it needs to be repealed. we have the votes, and if we get the money together, we can tell from the public opinion polls we have support from gil garcetti, for many former proponents of capital punishment in california, this can happen, reverend sharpton. and if california goes, it's going to end in our lifetime. >> people should check out innocence project. barry sheck, thank you for fighting on. [ agent ] so your policy looks good, is there anything else?
why did you buy my husband a falcon? thanks for the falcon. i didn't buy anyone a falcon. sure, you did. you saved us a lot of money on auto insurance. i used that money to buy a falcon. ergo, you bought me a falcon. i should've got a falcon. most people who switch to state farm save on average about $480. what they do with it, well, that's their business. oh, that explains a lot, actually. [ chuckles ] [ male announcer ] another reason people switch to state farm. aw, i could've gotten a falcon. [ male announcer ] get to a better state. [ falcon screeches ]
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folks, mitt romney is just like us. that's right. just listen to him. >> we have to provide help to those who have been hurt most by the obama economy. it's the middle class, it's for the great middle class, the 80 to 90% of us in this country. >> us? 80% to 90% of us? willard is right, he's just like us. >> maybe i should tell my story. i'm also unemployed. >> he's just like us. he eats fast food, tweeting this picture eating at carl's jr. that's definitely something we all done. taking bargain flights on southwest, tweeting his picture with the crew. of course, we all take pictures on flights with the crew. and just like us, he's worth
about $200 million. just like us, he's doubling the size of his $12 million california home. and just like us, he says things like this. >> i was in iowa the other day. someone said why not just raise taxes on corporations. i said, because compses are people. raising taxes on corporations is raising taxes on people. >> i tell you something, mitt, i figured out what you should do. since you think corporations are people, why don't you treat people like they are corporations, and maybe we would get some jobs and health care and help in this country. just turn it around. do it for us. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now.